1 - 7 August, 2021
Heading off for some sun and sand (finally)? Need some help with the essentials? Well I may just be able to help!
After having just returned from a trip through Croatia and Italy I thought I would start this weeks post by sharing some tried and tested, and highly recommended, ethical and sustainable products and brands that got me through this (very hot) European holiday.
I have also included some interesting reads and listens (just in case you get bored lounging on that beach 😉), that I came across this week.
Sun and sand?! Try these brands
I couldn’t tell you how I stumbled across cool, casual and comfortable brand Wawwa. But I can tell you that this brand is focused on improving environmental and social standards, putting "people and the planet before profits". The brand achieves this through their use of sustainable materials (organic and recycled), water based inks, and such initiatives as their 1+1 collection, which involves donating an item to the less fortunate for every piece purchased from the range.
I highly recommend the Ripstop Boonie Hat for any outdoor adventure, made from durable and weatherproof organic cotton. The hat features a draw cord that is a great accompaniment when travelling as you can simply hang it from your neck or bag, and it also recovers surprising well if it does get crushed.
As a chronic migraine sufferer, I have mild photophobia, so a good pair of sunglasses are imperative. I was drawn to German sunglass brand Take a Shot. Why? Because of their refined and timeless design, reasonable price and their use of eco-friendly materials, including wood, bio-acetate and plastic, and vegan leather alternatives.
I was not disappointed when my pair of Leonie: Umbra Crystal - Smoke sunglasses arrived. Not only did they arrive plastic free, but the quality and craftsmanship was immediately evident. They are also super comfortable.
My only critique would be that as a brand they could definitely do better on the transparency front. Unless it was my lack of German language skills (their site is only available in German), I couldn't find a lot of information regarding their sourcing and manufacturing processes, which is a real shame.
Swimwear and Towel:
When it comes to swimwear, they have a great range, offering traditional bikinis, one pieces, even high-waisted, high neck, and long sleeve styles. They also cater to everyones tastes by allowing you to purchase tops and bottoms separately, mixing and matching as you like. Their swimwear and towels are also made from eco-friendly, innovative and high quality materials such as Econyl™, Recover™, and SEAQUAL®.
As an Aussie, the importance of sun protection has been instilled in me from a young age. So I did my research when it came to purchasing a sunscreen.
Everyday Humans 'Oh My Bod!' is an SPF50 Body Sunscreen made in sunny Australia (so they should know what they are doing, right?!). Their products are free of nasties (e.g. parabens, sulfates, phthalates), cruelty-free and PETA certified, the tube is made of 35% post consumer recycled (PCR) plastic, and the accompanying carton is made of FSC-certified recycled paper and printed with planet-loving soy-based ink.
What I really love about this cream is how lightweight it is. It doesn’t feel greasy like most sunscreens. While they do offer a cream for the face, cleverly named 'Resting Beach Face', I found the body lotion worked fine. The only downside is availability. I did have to order this from the UK as stockists that delivered to Germany were limited.
For the fellow sewers out there, The Florence from Merchant and Mills is the perfect make for your summer holiday. This fun and swingy dress (or top) pattern is perfect for the warmer weather thanks to the soft high low gathers.
Perfect for lightweight fabrics, I lived in my Organic Double Gauze version, being ideal for throwing on over swimmers, or easy to dress up when heading out to dinner. Plus the crinkled, 'lived in' look of the gauze fabric, meant I hardly (if ever) had to iron it.
Take a read
It was refreshing to stumble across the article Forget becoming the ‘perfect’ ethical consumer and try this instead in the Age (albeit a little late), as I think some of us can put a lot of pressure on ourselves to achieve the ‘perfectly’ conscious lifestyle. But being socially and environmentally responsible isn't always a lot of fun, it can be challenging, and sometimes inaccessible (especially during a pandemic).
The article had some really good reminders…
Try not to look through the lens of social media, as this is not always realistic, nor attainable.
Don't think of the journey to more ethical consumption as a pass or fail. When it comes to more conscious fashion choices, try focusing on progress rather than perfection. Any change is better than no change, right?
Better doesn’t have to mean expensive. If the niche ethical brands is unattainable, choosing the organic cotton option over the polyester from a mainstream brand will still send a better message and be better for the environment.
For more on a 'perfectly imperfect' journey to a more ethical and sustainable lifestyle, check out my article ‘I have one of those friends’ where I ask if it is OK to be a part of the ethical and sustainable movement (advocate for it even) when I still shop with a not so good brand.
The various lockdowns and social distancing measures not only impacted working practices, private lives, and finances, but also consumer priorities and purchasing habits. These changes coincided with an increased public awareness of a number challenges facing the fashion industry, including how over-production and over-consumption are impacting people and planet.
While the issues of ethics and sustainability are nothing new, they have definitely been pushed to the forefront of many consumers’ minds as a result of the societal changes stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic.However, the demonstration of more concern and awareness regarding sustainability doesn’t always translate into action.
The article Customers care more about sustainability post-lockdowns. Now what? featured on Vogue Business offers some interesting insights into the existence of this attitude-behaviour (or intention- behaviour) gap and the barriers standing in the way. The consumer preference to stay loyal to brands, instead of swapping to sustainable alternatives is also an interesting opportunity.
Take a listen
This short clip Australians struggle to buy ethical fashion from ABC National Radio with Fran Kelly is a couple of weeks old, but nonetheless, worth a listen. While only being 8 minutes long, the segment manages to cover a lot - from those scary fast fashion facts, to greenwashing, and the key findings from the Baptist Aid World Australia Ethical Consumer Report (which you can download here).
The report flipped the lens to that of Aussie consumers in order to gain insight into their attitudes and beliefs when it comes to ethical fashion consumption. Two key insights reported include:
Most Australian consumers agree that ethical fashion is important (73%), wanting to become more ethical consumers (87%), but only 46% regularly purchase from ethical or sustainable fashion brands (It's that attitude behaviour gap again!).
The top three barriers for Australians when it comes to shopping ethically were identified as not 1) knowing which brands are ethical, 2) being too expensive, and 3) it being harder to shop ethically in store than online.
Please GET IN TOUCH or leave me a comment. I would love to know your thoughts regarding the brands and products mentioned in this post, or let me know your go-to eco-friendly summer essentials.